In the latest of several recent high court decisions addressing the questions of statutes of limitations and related questions of tolling, on June 11, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that equitable tolling principles do not apply to toll statutes of limitation to permit previously absent class members to bring a subsequent class action outside the applicable limitations period. This seemingly narrow ruling is consistent with the Court’s recent proclivity to provide sharper edges and cleaner lines to statutes of limitations issues and to reduce the likelihood that class securities claims may continue be filed after the end of the limitations period. The Supreme Court’s June 11, 2018 opinion in China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh can be found here.
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court: Equitable Tolling Does Not Allow Follow-On Class Claims Outside of the Limitations Period

Noelle Reed
Austin Winniford
Caroline Van Zile

As I noted at the time, in December 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court granted cert in China Agritech Inc. v. Resh to take up the question of whether the prior filing of a class action lawsuit tolls statutes of limitation to permit previously absent class members to bring a subsequent class action outside the applicable limitations period. Oral argument in the case took place on Monday, October 26, 2018. In the following guest post, Noelle Reed, Austin Winniford,  and Caroline Van Zile of the Skadden Arps law firm provide their analysis of the oral argument. I would like to thank the authors for allowing me to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the authors’ guest post.

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Continue Reading Guest Post: Supreme Court Weighs Whether To Extend American Pipe Tolling

I have had this perception for several years now that the U.S. Supreme Court recently has been particularly keen to take up securities cases. It turns out that this perception has a basis in objective fact. A recent paper by University of Toledo law school Professor Eric Chafee confirms that since John Roberts became Chief Justice in 2005, the Court has averaged two securities opinions per court term, twice the number of the prior Rehnquist Court. Indeed, as the number of cases overall on which the Court has granted cert has continued to shrink, the securities cases have become an increasingly significant component of the Court’s docket. The current term is no exception; the Court began the term with three securities cases on its docket (although a recent settlement in one of the cases reduced the number to two).

The Court is showing its securities law proclivities once again. On Friday, December 8, 2017, the Court granted cert in yet another securities law case. The Court’s December 8, 2017 Order granting the petition for a writ of certiorari in China Agritech Inc. v. Resh can be found here. As Professor Chafee notes in his recent paper, many of the securities cases the Roberts court has taken up in recent years have involved issues “at the periphery of securities laws.” The new case the Court has taken up arguably is no exception to this generalization. The China Agritech case is in fact the second case the Court has taken up in successive terms involving statute of limitations tolling issues under the Court’s American Pipe tolling doctrine.
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Grants Cert in Yet Another Case Securities Law Case

Supreme court1On June 26, 2017, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court, in an opinion written for the majority by Justice Anthony Kennedy, ruled that the Securities Act of 1933’s three-year time limit for filing liability lawsuits is a statute of repose and therefore is not subject to equitable tolling. The Court also said that the principles described in its 1974 American Pipe decision providing for equitable tolling of statute of limitations are inapplicable to the 3-year statute of repose. The Court’s ruling could have important practical implications, particularly with respect to the question whether or not class members will need to file protective individual actions to preserve a later option to opt-out of any class settlement. The court’s opinion in California Public Employees’ Retirement System v. ANZ Securities Inc. can be found here.
Continue Reading Supreme Court: Securities Act’s Three-Year Time Limit is a Statute of Repose that Cannot be Tolled

Supreme court1The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case arising out of the credit crisis-era collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank, in order to decide whether or not, under principles known as the “American Pipe doctrine,” the filing of a securities class action lawsuit tolls the Securities Act’s statute of repose. In its 1974 American Pipe decision, the Court held that the filing of a class action suit tolls the applicable statute of limitations; in this latest case, the Court must resolve a split between the federal circuit courts and decide whether a class action lawsuit filing also tolls the applicable statute of repose. Though the case involves seemingly arcane issue, it could have very important practical implications, particularly with respect with respect to the timing of class members’ decisions whether or not to opt-out of the class. The U.S. Supreme Court’s January 13, 2017 order granting the petition of the plaintiff for a writ of certiorari in California Public Employees’ Retirement System v. ANZ Securitites Inc. can be found here.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Securities Act Statute of Repose Tolling Question

paul weiss largeOne of the important and recurring issues under the federal securities laws is the question of whether or not American Pipe tolling applies to the statute of repose in the securities laws’ liability provisions. Specifically, the question is whether or not the three-year limitations period in Section 13 of the ’33 Act may be tolled (under a legal theory known as the American Pipe tolling doctrine) by the filing of a putative securities class action, or rather that the three-year provision cannot be tolled. As discussed here, the U.S. Supreme Court recently dismissed the cert petition in  the Indy Mac case, leaving standing a Second Circuit ruling in that case that the filing of a securities class action lawsuit does not toll the ’33 Act’s statute of repose.

In the following guest post, the attorneys from the Paul Weiss law firm take a look at two recent Second Circuit decisions that raised these questions of tolling under the ’33 Act’s statute of repose. As discussed below, the authors conclude that the Second Circuit’s most recent decisions suggest that statutes of repose generally—and not simply statutes of repose established under the federal securities laws—are immune to tolling.

I would like to thank the attorneys at the Paul Weiss firm for allowing me to publish their guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers. Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the Paul Weiss attorneys’ guest post.
Continue Reading Guest Post: Second Circuit Expands the IndyMac Rule

paul weiss largeAmong the important legal issues that arise in connection with securities class action litigation is the question of impact of the filing of a complaint on the running of the statutes of limitation and the statutes of repose. In analyzing statute of limitations issues, one of the tools that the courts have used is the so-called American Pipe tolling doctrine, named after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1974 decision in American Pipe and Construction Co. v. Utah. A recurring question has been whether or not American Pipe Tolling applies to statutes of repose. In the following guest post, attorneys from the Paul Weiss law firm take a look a recent Sixth Circuit decision holding that American Pipe tolling doctrine does not apply to the federal securities laws’ statutes of repose.
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit, in Agreement with Second Circuit, Holds American Pipe Tolling Doesn’t Apply to Statutes of Repose

An important recurring issue is the questions whether the prior filing of a securities class action lawsuit tolls the applicable statute of repose under the federal securities laws. In an important June 27, 2013, the Second Circuit issued an important decision on this question, holding that the tolling doctrine does not apply to three-year statue